This has been a rough week for the American right. Some of its brightest stars now seem to be plummeting to the earth. Meanwhile, every time conservatives opened their mouths, they widened the chasm between the GOP and mainstream America. Here’s a selection of the worst of the week:
If New Jersey governor Chris Christie had anything to smile about this week, it was the existence of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell. Between the two of them Huckabee and McDonnell managed to crowed scandal-plagued Christie of the Spotlight.
Huckabee Hearts Women?
Todd Akin may have faded from the political scene, but his spirit still haunts the GOP. Mike Huckabee channeled a bit of that spirit during a speech to members of the Republican National Committee, when he said that women who use contraception “can’t control their libidos.” Huckabee added that, “Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription.”
Not since Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a slut has a Republican spoken so forcefully on women’s issues. It was so bad that even Rick Santorum had a hard time defending it.
And just to add a dash of hypocrisy, fellow blogger Bill Sher points out that in 2005 Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee signed a law mandating Arkansas insurance plans to provide contraception coverage — including church-affiliated organizations.
McDonnell’s Fourteen Piece Indictment
Bob McDonnell swept into the Virginia governor’s mansion promising to create jobs. Instead, McDonnell created a steady stream of scandals. This week, McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted on fourteen counts of political corruption, related to gifts they accepted from a businessman looking to buy access to the McDonnell administration.
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One of the juiciest revelations in the indictment is that the McDonnells were in debt up to their eyeballs when the moved into the governor’s mansion.
It appears the McDonnells are still short on funds. The “Restoration Fund” started to bankroll McDonnell’s legal defense reported less than $2,000 in contributions in July. The McDonnell’s may not have enough cash to pay for they own defense.
So much for “fiscal responsibility.” Maybe a credit check should be required for the job of Virginia governor?
Christie’s Developing Scandal
Things have been pretty bad for New Jersey governor Chris Christie since the “Bridgegate” scandal broke. They got worse this week when Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer accused Christie’s administration of threatening to withhold Superstorm Sandy relief funds unless she approved a development project Christie supported.
There’s even more. Data obtained by the Fair Share Housing Center suggests that Christie shortchanged blacks and Latino’s on Sandy relief. The Christie administration rejected African Americans seeking post-Sandy rebuilding funds at more than twice the rate of white applicants, and Latinos at a 50 percent higher rate than whites.
D’Nesh D’Souza’s Continued Downfall
This week also saw the continued downfall of one of my favorite right-wingers. D’Nesh D’Souza was indicted on federal charges of violating campaign finance laws.
You may remember D’Souza from his 2012 documentary film Obama’s America, but D’Souza jumped on the right-wing gravy train back in the 90s. Since then he’s made his bread and butter as a right-wing media moralist. In late 2012, D’Souza got caught having a fiance while he still had a wife. Now, he faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.
The Craziest Things Conservatives Said This Week
RNC chairman Rience Priebus stepped up in the aftermath of Mike Huckabee’s remarks to remind Republicans that, “We must all be very conscious of tone and choice of words.” Judging from this week, right-wingers are having the hardest time heeding that advice:
- Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) said, during remarks on the House floor, that Democrats use government to “lure” women and single mothers in to “servitude” with welfare.
- Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) told activists at Wednesday’s 42st annual March For Life in Washington, D.C. that abortion should be illegal because it “robs men of the privilege of fatherhood.” Hartzler also claimed that “perhaps we would have had a cure for cancer now,” if abortion hadn’t been legalized.
- Republican congressional candidate Susanne Atanus told the Chicago Daily Herald that she believes God created autism, dementia, and extreme weather conditions to punish the U.S. for legalizing abortion and same-sex marriage. Atanus is running to for the right to challenge Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), but her remarks got her booted from the Illinois GOP. Atanus is refusing to back out of the race.
- Virginia state Senator Richard Black ended his campaign to Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) this week. Black made headlines last week when Mother Jones magazine reported his opposition to criminalizing spousal rape. In 2002, when the issue was raised in the Virginia legislature, Black said spousal rape was impossible to define because a couple is, “living together, sleeping in the same bed, she’s in a nightie, there’s no injury and so forth or anything.”
- Fox News Host Martha MacCallum suggested that the solution to the high minority arrest rate is “a campaign to discourage pot use among minorities.”
- Fox’s Eric Bologna said he “doesn’t think there’s racism” because “we have a black president and black entertainment channels.”
- Oakland County, Michigan, Executive L. Brooks Patterson told a reporter for The New Yorker what he’s like to do with Detroit: “I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass. I said, ‘What we’re gonna do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and the corn.”
- Rep. Steave Pearce (R-NM) wrote in his recently published memoir that wives should “voluntarily submit” to their husbands.
- Joshua Black, an African American Republican candidate for the Florida state House of Representatives took to Twitter and Facebook calling for President Obama’s death. By lynching. On MLK Day.
Rience Priebus admitted this week that not much has changed in the year since he launched an effort to re-brand the GOP, to make the party more appealing to minorities, women and gay voters who voted for Democrats in droves in 2012. He’s right. And since the GOP is saddled with a base that demands extremism, not much is going to change in the GOP anytime soon.